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URMC / Family Medicine / Medical Student Education / Primary Care Sports Medicine Elective (FAM 601)


Primary Care Sports Medicine Elective (FAM 601)

Course Director: Stephanie MacDonald, DO
Contact: Phone: (585) 273-5677 or (585) 279-4833 (Anne Holcomb)
601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14642

Course Location: Various URMC Orthopaedic ambulatory clinics, local athletic events (schedule provided in advance of rotation start)
Block Length: 2 weeks
Course Offered: Check date availability; confirm dates and enroll at the University of Rochester Medical School Registrar's Office through MedSIS
Number of Students:  1 per block, based on availability
Prerequisite(s):  Core clinical clerkships including medicine, surgery, neurology, and pediatrics


To understand the scope of primary care sports medicine, gain experience with a variety of acute and chronic musculoskeletal complaints, musculoskeletal ultrasound, and sports sideline and training room coverage.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the rotation the student should be able to:

  • Learn to take an appropriate history of a musculoskeletal complaint
  • Perform physical examination of the shoulder, hand/wrist, hip, knee, and foot/ankle.
  • Develop a basic differential diagnosis for common musculoskeletal complaints for both pediatric and adult patients. 
  • Become familiar with clinical and X-ray findings of common sports injuries and other musculoskeletal complaints
  • Discuss outpatient management options for common sports injuries and other musculoskeletal conditions
  • Discuss clinical indications for point of care ultrasound in sports medicine and application to the musculoskeletal exam.
  • Participate in training room and local sports event coverage
  • Describe how sports medicine physicians work with an interdisciplinary team to take care of athletes

Schedule of Activities

This is an ambulatory elective and students will be assigned to several different primary care sports medicine faculty members over the course of the two weeks, typically with hours from 8 AM – 4:30 PM.  Schedules will vary slightly depending on the season and depending on sports schedules. Students may also attend training room sessions once per week, and have the opportunity to help provide game coverage for a variety of local sporting events which may occur on nights or weekends.  

Didactic Activities

  1. Primary care sports medicine division departmental didactics every Tuesday morning from 7-8 AM (on Zoom)
  2. Other lectures may be added in depending on the time of month, including grand rounds or other one-time lectures.  Students will be informed of additional lectures at the start of the rotation.

Required Reading

 All texts available online through Miner Library website.


  • From Netter's Sports Medicine 2nd edition, by Madden, Putukian, McCarty, and Young: Chapter 1 (The Team Physician), chapter 2 (The Certified Athletic Trainer and the Athletic Training Room), chapter 42 (Musculoskeletal Injuries in Sports), chapter 63 (Diagnostic Imaging in Sports Medicine), chapter 64 (Sports Ultrasound).  
  • Bates' Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking, 13th edition, by Bickley: chapter 23 (Musculoskeletal system)

Not required, but for additional reference:

  • All other chapters in Netter's Sports Medicine, 2nd edition
  • The 5-Minute Sports Medicine Consult, 2nd edition (Bracker, Achar, Pana, Taylor).  

Student Evaluations

To receive a passing grade students must attend Tuesday morning didactic lectures, training room or game coverage if assigned, and receive a passing clinical evaluation from their preceptors during the elective based on the learning objectives provided.